Main  Contacts  
Table of contents
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.1
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.2
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.3
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.4
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.5
THE CONQUEST OF THE VENEREAL DISEASES-8.6
FOOTNOTES
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.1
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.2
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.3
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.4
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.5
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.6
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.7
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.8
SEXUAL MORALITY-9.9
MARRIAGE-10.1
MARRIAGE-10.2
MARRIAGE-10.3
MARRIAGE-10.4
MARRIAGE-10.5
MARRIAGE-10.6
MARRIAGE-10.7
MARRIAGE-10.8
MARRIAGE-10.9
MARRIAGE-10.10
MARRIAGE-10.11
MARRIAGE-10.12
FOOTNOTES
THE ART OF LOVE-11.1
THE ART OF LOVE-11.2
THE ART OF LOVE-11.3
THE ART OF LOVE-11.4
THE ART OF LOVE-11.5
THE ART OF LOVE-11.6
THE ART OF LOVE-11.7
THE ART OF LOVE-11.8
THE ART OF LOVE-11.9
THE ART OF LOVE-11.10
THE ART OF LOVE-11.11
FOOTNOTES
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.1
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.2
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.3
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.4
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.5
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.6
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.7
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.8
THE SCIENCE OF PROCREATION-12.9
FOOTNOTES
INDEX OF AUTHORS

manner in which it swathed up the wife in endless folds of 

irresponsibility, except when she committed the supreme offence 

of injuring her lord and master. The English wife, as Hobhouse 

continues (loc. cit.) was, if not her husband's slave, at any 

rate his liege subject; if she killed him it was "petty treason," 

the revolt of a subject against a sovereign in a miniature 

kingdom, and a more serious offence than murder. Murder she could 

not commit in his presence, for her personality was merged in 

him; he was responsible for most of her crimes and offences (it 

was that fact which gave him the right to chastise her), and he 

could not even enter into a contract with her, for that would be 

entering into a contract with himself. "The very being and legal 

existence of a woman is suspended during marriage," said 

Blackstone, "or at least is incorporated and consolidated into 

that of her husband, under whose wing, protection and cover she 

performs everything. So great a favorite," he added, "is the 

female sex of the laws of England." "The strength of woman," says 

Hobhouse, interpreting the sense of the English law, "was her 

weakness. She conquered by yielding. Her gentleness had to be 

guarded from the turmoil of the world, her fragrance to be kept 

sweet and fresh, away from the dust and the smoke of battle. 

Hence her need of a champion and guardian." 

 

In France the wife of the mediaeval and Renaissance periods 

occupied much the same position in her husband's house. He was 

her absolute master and lord, the head and soul of "the feminine 

and feeble creature" who owed to him "perfect love and 

obedience." She was his chief servant, the eldest of his 

children, his wife and subject; she signed herself "your humble 

obedient daughter and friend," when she wrote to him. The 

historian, De Maulde la Claviere, who has brought together 

evidence on this point in his _Femmes de la Renaissance_, remarks 

that even though the husband enjoyed this lofty and superior 

position in marriage, it was still generally he, and not the 

wife, who complained of the hardships of marriage. 

 

 

 


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